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Man accused of stealing from employer released after no proof brought forward

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man who was accused of stealing money from his former employer was released from TCF this week, after the High Court granted the government’s motion to dismiss the case against him.

Okesene Finauga appeared before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea this week on the government’s motion to dismiss.

Prosecutor Laura Garvey told the court that a representative from the company came to their office last week and told her that they are unable to confirm whether Finauga stole any money from the company, because most of their invoices are mixed up and they cannot confirm anything if the case goes to trial.

With that being said, Garvey asked the court to dismiss the case against Finauga.

Public Defender Michael White represented Finauga, who has been in custody since he was arrested earlier this year in March.

Finauga was initially charged with embezzlement and stealing, both felonies. The government had accused him of stealing more than $100 from his former employer.

After the court granted the government’s motion, Patea ordered Finauga to be released from the TCF, where he has spent 10 months.